Saturday 16th March Premier League Best Bets

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Everton v Manchester City 12.45pm

The Toffees don’t appear to be as bombproof as they were earlier in the season, and Manchester City could well be coming up against them just at the right time. City have appeared to step up a gear in the last month or so, and while all games are sure to be tough at Goodison Park, the Citizens have momentum and form on their side.

Everton’s shocking 3-0 loss last weekend against Wigan in the FA Cup is sure to be playing on Davis Moyes’ mind, while all appears to be rosy in th eblue half of Manchester at present, and Reberto Mancini will be doing his best to narrow the chasm between them and their city rivals.

Tip – Manchester City to Win 11/10 Bet Victor

Southampton v Liverpool 3.00pm

Southampton have done a sterling job in their first season in the top flight and have taken points from some big clubs, but that hasn’t been enough to steer them clear of the relegation battle.

However, at the odds it may be worth siding with a Liverpool team that are in top form with 4 straight wins in all competitions which include drubbings of Swansea (5-0) and Wigan (4-0) as well as a hard fought 3-2 victory over Spurs last weekend.

Luis Suarez has been a handful all season, but with other players now starting to perform, Liverpool are finally playing football worthy of a possible European place next season.

Tip – Liverpool to Win 10/11 Sky Bet

Aston Villa v QPR 3.00pm

Harry Redknapp has instilled a little bit of fight into Queens Park Rangers and the players will believe they have what it takes to pull them off of bottom spot come Saturday evening. Back to back wins over Southampton (2-1) and Sunderland (3-1) have given them renewed hope that they can escape the drop.

Aston Villa earned a much needed win over Reading last weekend to remain just outside the relegation zone, but I’m taking the Hoops to continue their winning run at Villa Park and force their way out of the dreaded drop zone.

Tip – QPR to win 23/10 bet365

Premier League Predictions 5 February 2012

On Sunday 5 February, Manchester United look to end a winless run at Chelsea that spans almost a decade in the Premier League while Newcastle United could unleash the “Two Demba’s” on an Aston Villa side unbeaten in their last five away fixtures.

Newcastle United vs Aston Villa

Newcastle welcome back top goal scorer Demba Ba and could hand a debut to £10 million striker Papiss Cisse in the televised lunchtime kick off. Alan Pardew’s side are in good form at home, winning their last three in all competitions, including a 3-0 defeat of Manchester United.

What is exciting about Newcastle’s form is they have won four of their last six league matches, even when key players like Ba and Cheick Tiote have been missing. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last five at home against Villa, including handing out a 6-0 drubbing at the beginning of last season.

This is not a cut-and-dried home victory though. Villa are unbeaten in their last five away matches in the Premier League and have won their last two – at Wolves and Chelsea.

Alex McLeish’s side showed great spirit coming from two goals down against QPR midweek to draw the fixture but they have not scored in their last three visits to Newcastle.

With a bolstered front line – the “Two Demba’s” have scored 59 league goals between them since the start of last season, the Magpies are tipped to outgun Villa, with Darren Bent having scored in his last three league appearances.

Verdict: Newcastle United @ 2.15 (Bet Victor)

Chelsea vs Manchester United

This is a crucial time in United’s season – having beaten Arsenal a few weeks ago, they face Chelsea this weekend and then host Liverpool next Saturday. They have also played Manchester City and Liverpool in the FA Cup in recent weeks.

The big games are coming thick and fast and it is time to put the notion that United always step up a gear in the second half of the season to the test.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last nine home league matches against United – winning six and drawing three with United scoring just five goals during that sequence.

But, with John Terry missing with a knee injury and Ashley Cole suspended, United have a great opportunity to end their winless run at Stamford Bridge. Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Nani and Tom Cleverly are all available for Sir Alex Ferguson too. Under-fire goalkeeper David de Gea is set to return between the sticks after Anders Lindegaard was ruled out for six weeks.

Chelsea’s form has not been great. Since beating Manchester City at the Bridge convincingly, they have won just twice in eight league fixtures, despite having a relatively easy run of opponents.They lost at home to Aston Villa and dropped points against Wigan Athletic, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Swansea City.

Rooney has a great record against Chelsea – scoring six in 12 meetings while it is now 17 hours and 56 minutes since Fernando Torres scored for the Blues. Only youngster Daniel Sturridge looks dangerous for Andres Villas-Boas and he hasn’t found the net in his last five league and cup appearances.

Verdict: Manchester United @ 2.9 (Betfred)

Premier League Predictions 21 January 2012

Eight matches take place in the Premier League on Saturday 21 January, including a huge relegation six-pointer at Loftus Road where QPR host rock-bottom Wigan Athletic. Wolves face their second Midlands derby in a matter of days when they tackle Aston Villa while both Chelsea and Liverpool will be expected to record away victories at Norwich and Bolton respectively.

Norwich City vs Chelsea

After a difficult December, Chelsea look to be getting back on track and could take all three points at Carrow Road. January has seen the Blues win both Premier League matches against Wolves and Sunderland, while Portsmouth were spanked 4-0 in the FA Cup.

Norwich have also won all three fixtures in January, winning at both QPR and West Brom in the league and recording a 4-1 victory against Burnley in the FA Cup. Very similar results to Chelsea in fact.

The Canaries weakness is their defence and Paul Lambert’s side have not kept a clean sheet all season. Chelsea have also looked shaky at the back but that will be remedied by the £7 million arrival of defender Gary Cahill, who could make his debut on Saturday. Norwich will be up for this but Chelsea will edge it.

Verdict: Chelsea @ 1.62 (Paddy Power)

Everton vs Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers have hauled themselves out of the relegation zone after some decent form in recent weeks. Back-t0-back defeats against Newcastle and Stoke were sandwiched between a draw at Liverpool and victories against Manchester United and Fulham.

Steve Kean’s side were magnificent in their victory against Fulham last weekend. Wantaway defender Chris Samba didn’t play while top goalscorer Yakubu was sent off. Yet, Rovers still managed to fire in three goals and keep poor travellers Fulham to just one.

Everton are a team in mixed form. An unbeaten four-match run which produced two wins and two draws at the back end of December leading into the New Year was followed up by a dismal home defeat against rock-bottom Bolton. Blackburn are tough to beat on the road and a dour draw looks the call here.

Verdict: Draw @ 4.0 (Bet Victor)

Fulham vs Newcastle United

With Demba Ba, Cheick Tiote and now new signing Papiss Cisse all away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, Newcastle United are not such an exciting betting proposition. They laboured their way to a 1-0 home victory against struggling QPR last weekend and may find a trip to Craven Cottage a lot more difficult.

Fulham followed up a memorable home victory against Arsenal with a humiliating 3-1 defeat at Blackburn last week and Martin Jol’s team are difficult to predict. They are still six points from the relegation zone but a couple of bad results could see them slip closer to danger.

Fulham’s home record is the same as Newcastle’s away: four wins, three draws and three defeats. Neither sequence inspires confidence here with all three results just as likely. A draw may be the sensible option.

Verdict: Draw @ 3.5 (Betfred)

Queens Park Rangers vs Wigan Athletic

A real relegation six pointer and one I fancy Wigan will be up for more than their hosts. QPR were not convincing in their midweek FA Cup victory against League One side MK Dons and on another day could have lost. They also offered little in a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle last weekend.

Mark Hughes has his work cut out against rock-bottom Wigan who put up a fighting display against Manchester City on Monday night and were unlucky not to get anything out of the match. Roberto Martinez’s strugglers have won at West Brom and Sunderland this season and also held the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal to a draw.

It would be easy to pick a draw in this match but Wigan showed enough on Monday they will up for the fight on Saturday. QPR may turn their season around thanks to a glut of new signings but those reinforcements won’t arrive until after this weekend.

Verdict: Wigan @ 4.0 (Ladbrokes)

Stoke City vs West Bromwich Albion

West Brom are being dragged into the dogfight at the bottom of the table and their status as relegation candidates was compounded by a home defeat by Norwich last weekend. Roy Hodgson’s side are still five points clear of the bottom three but they need more to give themselves some breathing space.

With Stoke sitting in eighth position you may think this should be a routine home win. However, the Baggies may be dire at home, but away from the Hawthorns they are a much different proposition with four wins and two draws out of 10 matches.

West Brom have won two of their last three fixtures on the road, beating both Blackburn and Newcastle. While Stoke have a solid home record with four wins, four draws and just two defeats, consecutive stalemates against Aston Villa and Wigan suggest they could be in for a shock on Saturday.

Verdict: West Brom @ 4.33 (Paddy Power)

Sunderland vs Swansea City

After Swansea played Arsenal off the park for much of their 3-2 victory last Sunday, Sunderland should not pose too much of a problem. But, much of Swansea’s success this season is down to their inspired home form – five wins, five draws and just one defeat at the Liberty Stadium compared to just one win, three draws and six defeats away.

Sunderland are similar. Decent enough at home but prone to defeat on the road. Since Martin O’Neill took charge, the Black Cats have lost just twice in eight Premier League matches and were good value in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea by all accounts.

This will be a close match but given home advantage and Swansea’s poor away record, Sunderland will just edge this one.

Verdict: Sunderland @ 1.91 (bet365)

Wolves vs Aston Villa

This will be Wolves’ second Midlands derby in the space of a few days and another they may finish as the losing side. Mick McCarthy’s side were dumped out of the FA Cup after a home defeat by Championship side Birmingham City and face a difficult travelling outfit in Villa.

Alex McLeish’s side are heading into lower mid-table territory but have lost just two in 10 on the road this season. Admittedly, six have ended as draws with just two victories but it shows the battling spirit required for a local derby such as this.

Wolves rested Steve Fletcher midweek and the nine-goal striker will be raring to go. If Villa can keep him quiet then Wolves will struggle to score and may be able to nick a victory for themselves.

Verdict: Aston Villa @ 2.9 (Sky Bet)

Bolton Wanderers vs Liverpool

Liverpool have an excellent record against Bolton, winning the last 10 meetings home and away.  Bolton last tasted victory against the Reds in September 2006, when the late Gary Speed and Ivan Campo scored the goals in a 2-0 win.

Liverpool clearly like playing Bolton and it is difficult to oppose them on Saturday. Kenny Dalglish’s side may have dropped points at home to Stoke last weekend, but with league and Cup games coming thick and fast, you cannot be expected to win every match.

It’s not a great price for an away win given Liverpool’s hit-and-miss form on the road (five wins, one draw and four defeats) and while Bolton are in mixed form, they have lost eight out of 10 at home this season and could be beaten again on Saturday evening.

Verdict: Liverpool @ 1.67 (Coral)

Premier League Predictions 14 January 2012

There are plenty of what should be routine home victories in the Premier League this weekend and the bookmakers will hope one or two slip up to bust those coupons! Here are previews for all seven matches taking place on Saturday 14 January 2012.

Aston Villa vs Everton

Two former greats languishing in mid-table are boosted by new signings going into this match. Aston Villa have signed Robbie Keane who gets to fulfil yet another dream of playing for yet another club he supported as a boy. He’s so lucky!

Everton boss David Moyes have attempted to fill a Mikel Arteta-sized gap by bringing in Manchester United fringe player Darron Gibson in on a four-year-deal. If the £2.5 million signing makes the same impact Phil Neville has over the years, I doubt the Toffees supporters will be disappointed.

Two sides lacking in both goals and creativity are hardly likely to produce a classic at Villa Park. Alex McLeish’s side have scored just 11 goals in 10 matches at home while Moyes’ team have scored 10 in 10 on the road. A low scoring, bore draw is my prediction.

Verdict: Draw @ 3.13 (Bet Victor)

Blackburn Rovers vs Fulham

Blackburn Rovers are in trouble. Rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and an unlikely win at Manchester United on New Year’s Eve was soon followed by back-to-back defeats against Stoke City and Newcastle United. That’s more like the Rovers we have grown to know and pity this season!

To make matters worse, Steve Kean’s side are struggling defensively and will be further weakened by Chris Samba’s desire to leave Ewood Park. Two bids from QPR have already been rejected and the big defender has stated he is open to a move to Paris St. Germain. If his heart is not set on playing for Rovers he may not feature in this match.

Interestingly, Fulham striker Andy Johnson may be on his way to Rovers but it is unlikely a deal will be completed before kick-off. The Cottagers are enjoying a mini-revival of late and go into this match fresh off the back of a 4-0 victory against Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup last week and a 2-1 victory against Arsenal on 2 January.

Martin Jol’s side will be the more confident and Fulham have the perfect opportunity to add to their one away win this season.

Verdict: Fulham @ 2.5 (Boylesports)

Chelsea vs Sunderland

A potential coupon buster this weekend. Chelsea will be expected to record a home victory but Sunderland are a different prospect since Martin O’Neill took over. The Black Cats have won five, drawn one and lost one in the seven matches under the former Aston Villa boss and will relish the visit to Stamford Bridge.

Remember, Sunderland won 3-0 in West London last season and although the goalscorers that day (Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck) are no longer at the club and O’Neill will feel confident against a team that has kept just one clean sheet at home this season.

Chelsea have been beaten at home in the league three times this season, most recently by Aston Villa on New Year’s Eve and Sunderland are more than capable of taking a point from this match.

Verdict: Draw @ 4.75 (Paddy Power)

Liverpool vs Stoke City

Liverpool will face Stoke full of confidence after their smash-and-grab victory at Manchester City in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi final earlier this week. The Reds have not been beaten at home in the league this season either and I can’t see Stoke City being the first to inflict defeat.

Tony Pulis’ side are doing very well this season and are currently in eighth position. But, they are hit-and-miss away from home. A record of four wins, one draw and five defeats, scoring just eight goals in the process does not inspire a lot of confidence. Liverpool are not particularly free scoring at home either, with 14 in 10 matches but they also have a mean defence which has leaked just eight goals.

In three Premier League visits to Anfield, Stoke have not scored a single goal and with their away record as it is this season, I can see another blank. A low scoring home win is the call.

Verdict: Liverpool @ 1.44 (bet365)

Manchester United vs Bolton Wanderers

Manchester United are going through a tricky spell after league defeats by both Blackburn and Newcastle but got back to winning ways by beating Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend.

Manager Alex Ferguson will be keen to build on that victory and make sure United do not drop points against a Bolton side sitting third from bottom in the table.

United have beaten Bolton at Old Trafford for the last eight seasons in a row since Kevin Nolan netted the only goal back in the 2002/03 season. Five of United’s subsequent victories have seen them keep a clean sheet and Alex Ferguson’s side put five past Bolton without reply at the Reebok Stadium in September. Wayne Rooney bagged a hat-trick and Javier Hernandez a brace that day.

Ferguson will not accept any Blackburn-style hiccups this weekend and judging by the price on offer for a home win, the bookmakers believe there is only going to be one result.

Verdict: Manchester United @ 1.17 (Ladbrokes)

Tottenham Hotspur vs Wolves

It’s great to see Tottenham giving it a real go this season and pushing the Manchester teams all the way at the top. Their 2-0 victory against Everton this week put Harry Redknapp’s team level on points with United and just three points behind City at the top of the table.

Spurs have won eight and drawn one of their last nine at White Hart Lane after losing their first home match of the season 5-1 against Manchester City. It’s an incredible sequence and all three points will be expected against Wolves who hover precariously above the relegation zone.

Mick McCarthy’s side have lost six out of 10 away from home and scored just eight goals. They have conceded 19 on the road, almost two per match and a Spurs side that has netted on average two goals at home this season will fancy their chances. Spurs keeper Brad Friedel has also kept a clean sheet in five of his last six home matches in the league.

Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur @ 1.3 (Coral)

West Bromwich Albion vs Norwich City

Just three points separate these teams in the Premier League but it is Norwich that look the healthier, sitting in ninth place while West Brom look at those below them in fifteenth. The Canaries have drawn more matches on the road than anybody in the current top 12 and they may settle for another today.

In their last three away games, Paul Lambert’s side recorded a win and two draws one while West Brom have not won at home in their last four league matches. Roy Hodgson’s team have a poor record at home this season, winning just twice.

The last time these sides met at The Hawthorns in the Premier League back in the 2004/05 season the match ended goalless. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat here, especially as the Baggies have not scored at home in their last two league fixtures.

Verdict: Draw @ 3.5 (Betfred)